Minnesota Lynx Sign First-Round Draft Pick Shona Thorburn and Free Agent Guard Jess Strom

The Minnesota Lynx today announced that they have signed their seventh overall pick in the 2006 WNBA draft, Shona Thorburn. The Lynx also announced that they have agreed to terms with free-agent guard Jess Strom. Per team policy, terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

Thorburn, a point guard from the University of Utah, finished second in the nation in assists with 7.1 apg during the 2005-06 campaign, and averaged 11.9 points and 6.4 rebounds. She led the Utes to the Elite Eight round of this year’s NCAA Tournament. The 5-10 guard was named All-MWC First Team and was an AP Honorable Mention All-American.

Thorburn posted averages of 13.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists in her four-year collegiate career. As a junior, Thorburn was named Co-Mountain West Conference Player of the Year and named First Team All-MWC as she averaged 14.9 points and 6.5 assists. A native of Hamilton, Ontario, Thorburn has played in 40 games for the Canadian National Team.

Strom, a 2005 graduate of Penn State University, was signed by the Connecticut Sun on April 21, 2005. She appeared in two preseason games with the Sun, including a game against the Lynx where she contributed 11 points, four assists and two rebounds in 19 minutes. Strom was waived by Connecticut prior to the start of the 2005 WNBA regular season.

An All-Big Ten First Team performer as a senior at Penn State, Strom ranked second in the conference in assists (135) and steals (87), a feat she also accomplished during her junior season. She was named to the All-Big Ten Third Team following her junior and sophomore seasons and was All-Big Ten Honorable Mention as a freshman.

“We are very excited to have signed both Shona and Jess,” said Lynx Chief Operating Officer Roger Griffith. “Shona will provide very strong leadership and proven passing ability at the point guard position. Jess is a player we liked in last year’s draft, and we think she has an opportunity to make our team. She has the potential to be a terrific outside shooting threat.”